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Could we see a retro return for tech?

Lifestyle | by Charlotte Bolton | Mar 01, 2024

Could we see a retro return for tech?

For years and years, nostalgia has always been a huge thing. In old movies, clothing, lifestyle and of course technology. People love giving modern things ‘retro twists’ like adding vintage filters on photos to make them appear older. Businesses have jumped onto this nostalgic trend also, offering vintage clothing/products and posting ‘Throwback Thursdays’ on socials. It’s clear that the theme of nostalgia in our lives isn’t going away and of course, it is eventually going to be adapted to technology and tech trends.

Recently, retro technology has seen a comeback with lots of past technology beginning to seep into our everyday lives, appearing once again this time with a modern twist. So let’s take a look at the older technologies from the past 10 years that have made a difference. We can’t wait to dive into it so let’s go.

Related blog: History Of The Flip Phone

Retro tech examples:

  • Film cameras
  • Gameboy console
  • Turntables/ record player
  • Polaroid camera
  • Typewriter
  • Nokia tech
  • Flip phone
  • Disposable camera
  • Tape recorder
  • Mp3 players
  • Cassette players and cassette tapes


What is retro nostalgia?

Some of the major retro tech returning to our lives seem to be disposable cameras, flip phones, polaroids, record players and even Gameboys.

Are disposable cameras back in style?

The return of the disposable camera is still quite new to the 21st century, only within the last couple of years have they seriously begun to grow in popularity. With smartphones now taking over as our primary camera, it was believed that disposable cameras would just fizzle out, however, it seems they are back in trend! Set to reach USD 1309.88 Million in 2028 it is clear the return of the disposable camera has only just begun. And they have even been implemented to be used with our smart tech, as when it comes to disposable camera development there is the option to get them digitally sent over to you via text or email meaning you can get the retro real-life images whilst also receiving the digital copy. There are lots of disposable camera options in local stores now, make sure to take a look!

Are flip phones from the 90s?

Flip phones have seen a major comeback since the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Series was introduced in 2020. Now other major brands like Apple and Google have been joining the trend, creating flip phones and smartphones that are combined into one. They no longer look like the old flip phones did in the 90s, these smart tech devices now have one touchscreen with advanced features and AI capabilities. The flip phone now expands to be the size of mini tablets which makes them great for day-to-day productivity and lifestyles, and we can’t wait to see how they develop as time goes on. We have plenty of cheap flip phones available on our website, check them out!

Are Polaroid cameras making a comeback?

When cameras weren’t as good quality and smartphones weren’t even even in development, the old Polaroid camera was great for getting immediate photos that could be physically held. They became huge again late 2010’s (around 2017), after the growing boredom of digital and smart cameras. Like their popularity in the past, polaroids were welcomed by individuals due to being able to be physically held once they were taken, similar to disposable cameras, people liked the physical evidence. The Fujifilm Instax system brand also made a comeback helping push the Polaroid sales because they don’t have built-in memory or offer memory cards so when a photo is taken the imagery is completely once in a lifetime. Cheap Polaroid cameras now offer a lot of new upgrades also like the option to change the camera lens, add filters and decorate the photos to get that Polaroid camera vintage look.

Are record players vintage?

Record players saw a return especially during the Covid Pandemic period of 2020 when online users were digging through old boxes of memories in the attic and sharing them on popular platforms like TikTok. Becoming popular for their unique listening experience and nostalgic appeal, in 2020 it is believed that record player sales increased 30% compared to the year before… and it’s only going up!

Retro Gameboys

The final retro tech that seems to be making a return to the modern day is the old Gameboy. Although no longer really on the market to use with no games being made for the console anymore, they are still making a comeback with gaming fans in general trading them as popular collectable Gameboys for sale.

Related blog: Rollable Phones In 2024


Why is retro tech coming back?

So why is retro tech suddenly back and trending again? Well for one thing the design and concept of retro tech are instantly recognisable which is great for the nostalgia of older audiences. As well as this, the vintage and retro era has grown thanks to online social media presence, TikTok specifically allows older users to share their tech favourites with younger audiences, inspiring them to look at vintage tech selections. It’s also such a popular concept as retro tech is a great way to disconnect from current times and move away from the smartphones and world of social media.

Related blog: How Technology Impacts Our Daily Lives



What other piece of technology would you love to see brought back again? Did we miss anything? Or do you think there's any newer technologies from the modern world we could see return in a nostalgic light perhaps in our future in 2040? We have plenty of tech available on our website waiting for you, so hurry, head to Envirofone and check out what we have available!

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